Delhi is known for its cultural heritage, historical places as well as tourist places like Qutub Minar, Agrasen ki Baoli, Red Fort and many more but the capital of the country also hosts many popular temples which depicts its rich religious history too. Out of many, Lotus Temple is one of the most visited attractions not only in Delhi but all over India. The Lotus Temple is the original place of worship of Bahá’í religion but it is open for all the faiths and religions.
Architecture & Design – Make it unique in its own way
The architecture and design of the Lotus Temple makes it unique in its own way. The temple was designed in a flower-like design by a Persian architecture Fariborz Sahba and his team of 800 engineers, technicians, workers and artisans. He hailed from Canada. The reason he chose the design of Lotus is that Lotus symbolizes the peace, love, purity and immortality. The construction and designing of the temple took almost 10 years and was completed in 1986. The design of the temple is like a half-opened Lotus flowers which consist of 27 freestanding petals which are made of marbles.
Apart from this another interesting fact about the structure of the Lotus Temple is that it has a special architectural element derived from the stipulation of `Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion that an essential architectural character of a House of Worship is a nine-sided circular shape. Hence, the 27 free-standing marble ‘petals’ are arranged in the clusters of three to form nine sides. The Lotus Temple also has nine doors which all open onto a central hall which is around 40 meters tall which can accommodate around 2500 people at a time. Apart from nine doors and cluster of petals as nine-sided circular shape, the Lotus Temple also has nine pools of water which light up in natural light. The surface of the Lotus Temple is made of white marble which was brought from Penteli Mountain in Greece.
Accolades & Awards
Due to its unique and thoughtful design, the architect of the Lotus Temple, Fairborz Sahba was awarded for excellence in religious art and architecture by the UK-based institution of Structural Engineers for producing a building ‘so emulating the beauty of the flower and so attracting in its visual impact’. Just after the yea of completion of the Lotus Temple, Fairborz Sahba won an award from International Federation for Art and Architecture, USA. In the year 1988, the Lotus Temple was accredited for its outdoor illumination. Apart from all these awards, it has also be awarded by American Concrete Institute Award for being one of the most artistically built concrete structures. It has also been awarded with the ‘Glob Art Academy Award’ from Glob Art Academy, Vienna in the year 2000.
Best time to visit
Though there is no such best time to visit any religious place but since the Lotus Temple is not only a House of Worship but also a tourist attraction so there are a few suggestions on the best to visit one of the artistic creations of the capital. It is suggested for the tourist to visit the Lotus Temple during the winter or spring season i.e. October to March as during the summers the scorching heat might take a toll on you due to the marbles used to develop the structure. Though the nine ponds surrounding the Lotus Temple would be a feel good factor if the tourists visit the place during the evenings of the summers. It is open from 9:30 AM 5:30 PM in winters whereas from 9 AM to 7 PM in summers from Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on Monday.
Things to do
Apart from witnessing the beautiful architecture and artistic design of the Lotus Temple there are few other activities which tourists can do to rejuvenate themselves. They can also meditate in the serenity of the beautiful surrounding. Explore the large gardens as the whole area of the temple is spread across 26 acres (approximately). Also the visitors can taste the street food available at the nearby outlets.
- The Lotus Temple is one of the most visited attraction of India. As per an estimate, approximately 10,000 visitors visit the temple on daily basis and till now around four million tourists have visited the Lotus Temple.
- The white marbles used to create the serene and beautiful architecture was developed in around 10,000 diverse sizes.
- Though it is a temple but there are no idols or statues to worship because as per the Bahá’í religion there should be no statues or idols in the House of Worship.
- Apart from one Lotus Temple in India, the six other Bahá’í Houses of Worship are in Sydney, Panama City, Apia, Kampala, Frankfurt and Wilmett.
How to reach
The Lotus Temple is located at Kalkaji, New Delhi. Any tourist or visitor can reach to Lotus Temple through public conveyance like Metro or DTC Buses. The nearest metro station to the Lotus Temple is Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station.
Other nearby attractions
- Kailash Shiv Mandir
- Prachin Bhairon Mandir
- Kalkaji Devi Temple
- Kalkaji District Park
- ISKCON Temple